Top 10 Facts about Pope John Paul II

The leader of the Roman Catholic religion is Pope John Paul II. Here are the top 10 facts about Pope John Paul II.

1. The birth name of Pope John Paul II is Karol Jozef Wojtyla. He was born May 18, 1920 at Wadowice, Poland.

2. Growing up, he was a great student and very athletic. He liked to play soccer, backpack, hike, and he wanted to have a career in theater. In 1942, he thought he might want a career in the religious life. In 1946, he was ordained a priest.

3. When he was 58, he became the Catholic Pope John Paul II. It was on October 16, 1978. He was the first Polish pope and also the first non-Italian pope since Pope Adrian VI in 1522.

4. Pope John Paul II can speak eight languages. He learned Spanish after becoming the Pope. He also travelled more than any Pope in history.

5. He has been an advocate for human rights for years. He wants world peace, and he has been actively trying to help the world acheive peace.

6. Pope John Paul II added the Luminous mysteries to the Rosary.

7. He has spoke out against abortion, artificial birth conrol, and euthanasia several times. He believes these things are not good in the world.

8. Time magazine called Pope John Paul II the Man of the Year in 1994.

9. Pope John Paul II has Parkinson's disease, but he still continues to write books explaining his faith. The best seller, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," are answers from the Pope to questions from an Italian journalist.

10. Important Dates:
1920 - Born in Poland on May 18
1946 - Ordained a priest
1954 - Appointed professor of ethics at Catholic University of Lublin
1964 - Appointment as resident Archbishop of Krakow
1978 - Chosen by the College of Cardinals to lead the Roman Catholic Church.
1981 - Was shot by an assassin
1983 - Met with the assassin but the conversation was confidential

Catholic 411